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Tutt Library Research Guides


Early Government Documents: The Constitution

Publications from the Tutt Collection along with links to core documents.

The Constitution

     On September 17, 1787 delegates to the
 Constitutional Convention met for the last
 time to sign the document that they had
 crafted and present it to the American public.

Constitution of the United States and Jefferson’s Manual.
  Docs Serial Set 13213-8

Constitution of the United States Annotated.
  Docs Serial Set 12980-7

National Constitution Center

  • “disseminate information about the United States Constitution on a non-partisan basis"

Its Origins


Historical Documents

United States Constitution, Primary Documents

  • notes Washington wrote on his copy of the Constitution, his diary at the Constitutional Convention
  • an essay on Madison's role in the Constitutional Convention, Madison's notes on the debates
  • Jefferson's letter expressing his opinions on the new Constitution & the need for a Bill of Rights
  • the set of digitized volumes from Max Farrand's The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 containing:
    • the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention,
    • the notes and letters of James Madison and other participants
    • links to the digitized papers of James Madison

Constitution Resources

  • the 55 delegates who gathered to rewrite the Articles of Confederation
  • learn what issues they faced, discover the sources that inspired them,
  • read the essays printed in NYC papers urging ratification of their proposal,
  • a 200-year timeline showing the impact of their work on our history.
  • search the Constitution & get explanations for 300 topics

The American Constitution: a Documentary Record

  • early American historical documents arranged under the following headings:
    • Roots of the Constitution;
    • Revolution and Independence;
    • Credentials of the Members of the Federal Convention;
    • The Constitutional Convention;
    • Ratification and Formation of the Government.
  • Constitution, English Bill of Rights from 1689; original American state constitutions from 1776; variant texts of plans proposed at the Constitutional Convention; and the ratification documents from individual states. (Yale Avalon Project)
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